Sunday, December 30, 2012

Honest to Goodness

I woke up with this moment of clarity.  OK I didn’t exactly wake up this way, but it’s 8:43 am on a Sunday in the sleepy, snow covered town of Essex in the North Country.  I have been picking at brain knots and mind labyrinths for hooooouuuuuuurrrrrs.   But since I started moving around and tamping down all that internal head gear and looking closely at one or two loose wires….I reached a bit of clarity.

Lately, I’m looking for trust and honesty.  I’m looking for it at times like the KGB during the Cold War or some Anti-Communist task force assigned by J.Edgar Hoover.  I’m scrutinizing and black listing and maybe even deciding occasionally who may need to be deported and who’s dresses J. Edgar should have never tried on let alone considered wearing or who is possibly trustworthy.  Sometimes I’m looking for it like a meek church mouse, silently waiting for the right moment to thank someone kindly for that little crumb of truth and humility.  Just last week I tried to seize the truth out and strangle it to the bitter end, until I could no longer identify if it started as one truth and ended as another because of my capacity to refuse it until I can check the CSI Miami Vice and 1 Adam 12 case files for any lingering doubts.  

So I start to wonder as I do, at 5:30 am and again at 6:41 and then finally at 8:43 I reach that early morning moment of clarity, which by now is midday for my circadian clock workings.  I am going about this truth search like a bat out of hell, or Hoover out of Havana, because I was living in, and with, and amongst so many half truths, untruths, bold-faced lies and a few random bits of possible truths but I will never know for sure.  And, I didn’t exactly see it, or want to see it, or look closely enough until I could no longer pretend my way past it.  

Learning to trust again after divorce is a challenge, but one that I need to take on with less grit and determination and more openness.  The truth is I like being honest, and free, and open to new things, even if I may initially appear pained and fearful or fighting mad.  It's like nervous laughter, or crying when you're happy.  I am getting all of these emotions back in check and manageable after a long ride on a roller coaster of half-truths passed the fun-house mirrors of distortion and questioning.  Another truth for me, I really don't like amusement parks or thrill rides.

In life, there are all sorts of ways that we fool ourselves, lie to ourselves and deny certain truths even when they are snuggling up close to us and kissing us good morning.  We lie about our ages, our weight, our propensity toward one thing or another.  We lie about why we can’t get our lives together or why we just don’t.  We sometimes lie about what we like, or don’t like, to do, or eat, or be around.  We lie to others about our desire to eat at that restaurant or see that movie.  We may lie about what we spent money on, or where we went and who we were with.   We live in a time and a place that expects us to be on and great and fabulous most of all the time.  When we aren’t, we live in a place and time that offers us medications and mindfulness trainings and a myriad of magnificence in one form or another and a credit card mortgage bail out plan when we can’t make it happen on our own.  We lie about feeling up and we lie about feeling down.  

We facebook our thrills and joys and brightest moments.  I know I have.  I know I have at times in an effort to scream I am still here, instead of screaming I am afraid out of my mind, but I am moving through this horrific period of my life.  See?  See!!!!!  Look at me I’m fine!!!!!  Only I have not been, some of the times.  Are these lies?  Sort of. Maybe.  If I call them tactics, say, brute survival strategies, I can twist the meaning to be exaggerated moments of excitement that disguised the fear until I actually felt excited.  Whew.  It’s a lot of work to disguise the truth.  It was a lot more work to live a lie, but it didn’t seem as so when I was doing it in tandem, through a mediocre measured existence.  It became a lot of work when I could no longer be complacent and quiet and numbed.  It became a lot of work when I decided to only look at the truth of others and not face the truth that I had made some pretty big choices to shield and fake the truth.  I might have to hang up my J. Edgar Hoover Honorary Badge of Honesty and unplug my Homeland Security Truth and Mental Detector.   I was having a hard time carrying it around, it kept buzzing every time I got close to anyone.  I think I'm just about ready to get close and find out what my truth is, everyone else is on their own from here on out.

For starters, I look fat in pleats, and a whole lot of other things.  Sometimes I don’t care.  Well, except for the pleats, I do care, I don’t wear them.   I don’t like movies that are so cryptic and twistedly plotted with endings that make you think long after you left…….that you wish you had spent those two hours cleaning the toilet instead.  I don’t like to wait too long for anything if it’s within reach.  I don’t like when I react big because I am afraid or uncertain or unclear.  I don’t like that I can’t delete those reactions or soften them in the minds of others.  I also don’t like that I come off too abrupt and direct and unfiltered or that I sometimes remain too quiet in fear that I might react too big, and abrupt and unfiltered.  I don't like gambling or cheating or the impact of alcoholism on families.  I don't like dishonesty.  I don't like that sometimes people can't see past their own despair and instead hurt those that love them most.  I don't like guns or violence.  I don’t like wasting time on cordial politeness and false kindnesses.  I don’t like hot dogs with chili and cheese and beans and relish and other random pairings.  I like so much more than I don’t like.  I’m a liker.  And a lover.  And a fighter.  I am no longer, a go along-to get along-er.    Those are a few of my truths. 

Truth is, I have a pretty good sense of honesty in others. I have been lying to myself about this for way too long.  I can see clearly with clarity most of the time, but especially around 6:41 am when the sunlight falls upon the earth just so and most everything has equal amounts of shadow and shine.  Equal.  I like that.  I like that most of us are really trying our best most of the time, but we are also human with flaws and fumbling around attempting to do the right thing. I like the possibility that we can change, and strive for better, and do the right thing in spite of our very human propensity toward erring.  I like that we have the ability to forgive and be forgiven.

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